Founder of internet believes growing internet surveillance threatens democracy


At the World Wide Web Foundation’s second annual conference, Tim Berners-Lee, credited as the founder of the internet, vehemently exclaimed that internet surveillance is a threat to democracy, that such a practice does not comply with what democracy really means, and is an utter defiance of public rights.

The World Wide Web Foundation’s annual conference analyses how internet has contributed to economic, political, social, and human rights platforms.

About the internet’s positive role in the world, Tim Berners-Lee said the following: “One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world.”

In the analysis of 81 countries, a total of 80 countries have had a positive impact from the internet in the form of wide awareness of issues plaguing those countries. However, due to internet surveillance practiced by countries, and in light of the explosive revelations made by Edward Snowden, Tim Berners-Lee said the following:

“Some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy. Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”

According to common opinion, developing countries are more prone to internet surveillance and censorship, but due to Edward Snowden’s revelations, World Wide Web claimed that developed countries, like USA, are more likely to indulge in unlawful spying that not only remains within there own borders, but reach much farther across foreign borders.

The report of World Wide Web Foundation claims that China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Pakistan are the biggest culprits of censoring contents that threaten their governments, and have insufficient measures against internet surveillance.

Surprisingly, Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India were ranked beside Yemen, Mali and Kenya for having poor measures against government’s internet spying.

Although, what Tim Berners-Lee believes internet to be like is right, but the ground-realities that only governments know make internet surveillance a viable measure.


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  1. JMJ

    [@Seamus McSeamus] Between the Electoral College, resurrected voter-qualification laws in some States, the Secret Government, Federal Reserve, etc., etc., to say nothing of the for-sale politicians, I think Gore is better of sounding the alarm about our environment. America hasn’t been a true (or even a representative) democracy for a long, long time. Eisenhower even bluntly told us so at the end of his last term. I continue to vote only so that I can get called for that most wonderful experience: Jury Duty. ;-)

  2. JMJ

    [@Hamza] That is absolute nonsense. I don’t know what an “historical peek” is supposed to be but, if you want to be taken seriously and your articles and opinions to be trusted, then YOU should do your homework and not just blindly parrot what you hear or read. Journalism 101.

    Journalism aside, it’s just plain good character to acknowledge our errors, correct them when possible, apologize for any harm (e.g., misinforming) done and continue with renewed care.

    Finally, having followed dotTech for some time now, I do not believe your use of the imperial-sounding “we” is accurate and certainly is not justified. Most of the writers and contributors here DO CARE about their bona fides. You should too.

  3. Hamza

    Well, JMJ if you see the source of the article written, the content extracted from the source labels Tim Berners-Lee as the “Founder of Internet.” We don’t write here to give historical peeks to people, but rather to convey information of things related to technology happening everyday.

  4. JMJ

    Please, please, re-check your facts. The Internet existed as a U.S. Government –> Academia-> Military research communications facility l-o-n-g before 1989! Perhaps you mean to say that Tim Berners-Lee invented the means for clients and servers to “talk” over the Internet via HTTP. If anything, you could say he invented the www we all know and love.